Ianto awoke to what felt like an attack from a giant octopus. He felt an enormous weight lying on top of him, limbs twisting and wrapping around his body, and suckers moving against his neck and latching on firmly. But it wasn’t until he felt something moving inside the bottom of his shirt, up along his side and then slide back down into the front of his pyjama bottoms, that he gave up any pretence of being asleep and opened his eyes.
Jack was lying on top of him, his face burrowed into Ianto’s neck. Jack’s legs were entwined with Ianto’s and one of his hands was now resting against Ianto’s hip, his fingertips pushed slightly inside the waistband.
“About time you woke up,” Jack grinned cheekily.
He rested himself on the elbow of his other arm to take some of his weight off of Ianto, then lifted the hand resting on Ianto’s hip up and brushed his hair back from his forehead, enjoying the soft feel of Ianto’s hair running through his fingers. Ianto shut his eyes again without a word, just soaking up the sensations as Jack lowered his mouth and resumed working away at Ianto’s neck. Jack slid his tongue over the pulse point at the base of Ianto’s neck, drawing a soft, satisfied moan from him.
Ianto opened his eyes again as Jack raised his head to look into Ianto’s eyes, almost as if he was trying to gauge Ianto’s reaction. Ianto looked steadily back up at him then reached up and pulled Jack’s head down to his. Pressing their mouths against each other’s, Jack parted his lips to allow Ianto’s tongue entrance. Their breathing became deeper as their tongues explored and Jack rubbed his groin against Ianto’s, Ianto’s grip on him tightening in response.
They both groaned in frustration as, with a shrill buzzing sound, Ianto’s PDA went off, signalling an alert that had been redirected from the Hub’s mainframe. Jack rested his forehead against Ianto’s for a moment as they tried to regain their breath, before rolling off Ianto to allow him to check the alert.
“Weevil. Loose in a car park.” Ianto said resignedly.
Jack sighed, and after giving Ianto a quick kiss on his forehead, got up and began to get dressed.
“Want me to come with you?” Ianto asked, watching him move around the room, nearly sighing in disappointment as Jack’s body was covered up by his clothes. “Save calling Owen in?”
“No, I’ll be alright on my own. I always am.” Jack replied.
Ianto started to get dressed himself. “I know you will, but it’s probably about time I got some more field experience anyway. It’s been a while since…” Ianto’s voice trailed off as his mind went back to the cannibals. He stood up as Jack walked over to him.
Jack pulled him close and whispered seductively in his ear. “So you want to come weevil hunting with me?”
Ianto looked at him with amusement. Only Jack could turn something as potentially dangerous as tracking down a Weevil into something smutty sounding.
“If I come with you, it just means we can take up where we left off, just that little bit sooner,” Ianto replied, matching Jack’s tone and gesturing vaguely towards the bed behind them.
Jack grinned. “Well, when you put it like that…” Jack grabbed Ianto’s hand and pulled him out the door.
When Owen and Tosh arrived at Hub on Monday morning, both of them were wary of what mood they would find at the Hub. When they had left on Friday, Jack was still missing, Gwen was still angry with Ianto and Ianto was still out running his errands after having secluded himself in his office for most of the day. They were also surprised that neither of them had been called in over the weekend on any rift alerts; as far as they could remember, that had never happened in the entire time they had been working for Torchwood.
They stood just inside the cogwheel door and looked around. No one could be seen. They looked questioningly at each other until Owen shrugged and started walking over to his desk, Tosh following along behind him. They both turned as they heard voices and laughter coming from the passageway down to the lower levels. To their surprise, Ianto and Jack walked out of the passageway a few minutes later, walking very closely together and joking and laughing with each other. There was no sign of Gwen anywhere.
Ianto caught Owen and Tosh watching them and favoured them with a smile before reverting to his usual work demeanour.
“Can one of you go and grab some breakfast for us all? We will be having a meeting in the boardroom in about twenty minutes,” he instructed. “Oh, and there’s just the four of us today.”
Owen and Tosh looked at each other. They were totally confused. Gwen hadn’t asked for any leave that they knew of and she wasn’t rostered to have any days off. Although, Owen thought, maybe that explained why she hadn’t come over on the weekend. They had planned to get together while Rhys was working some weekend shifts. He barely looked up as Tosh left to go and get their food and drinks, lost in his thoughts of Gwen.
During the meeting, Ianto explained to them why Gwen was not there now and wouldn’t be for the rest of the week. He then went on to tell them of all the new Weevils down in the cells that they had brought in over the weekend.
It had ended up being a very busy weekend for Ianto and Jack with Weevil alerts. There were three other callouts, after that first Weevil, but Ianto and Jack had managed to deal with them all on their own, without disturbing the other two. With Gwen out of the picture for the week, the team could potentially be very busy while they were one man down and Ianto had decided that Owen and Tosh should get as much rest as they could, while they could.
Plus, they had had a lot of fun “entertaining” each other after each hunt, Ianto thought to himself with a smile.
Saying they might be busy turned out to be a very prophetic statement, as they had barely finished cleaning up from breakfast when the first alert of the day came in. Jack, Tosh and Owen took off in the SUV while Ianto co-ordinated them from the Hub. A pair of Weevils had been sighted near a primary school, and while most of the students thought their appearance was hilarious, most of the parents had panicked, with some calling the police and others calling the media.
A lot of photos and video footage was taken on mobile phones, so as well as co-ordinating the team; Ianto was flat-strapped removing the footage leaked onto the Internet. He briefly considered taking down a number of social media sites altogether, at one stage when the number of clips going up was far exceeding the rate at which he could take them down, but reluctantly decided against it. When the others returned to the Hub, after having finally retconned all of the witnesses, Tosh was able to give him a hand and together they were able to remove and delete all traces of the online footage.
“This is getting ridiculous,” Owen groaned hours later, when yet another alert came in. This would be the fourth alert for the day, and they were all very tired.
Ianto agreed. “I know, I think we’ve had more alerts today than we’ve had in a single day the whole time I’ve been here.” He looked over at Tosh; she looked so exhausted that it was a wonder she was still standing.
“Can you two handle this one on your own?” Ianto asked Jack and Owen. Owen opened his mouth to grumble again, but after a pointed glare from Ianto, he took one look at Tosh and closed his mouth again. He shrugged in resignation.
“Come on then,” Jack sighed. “Let’s get this over and done with.”
That night, Ianto and Jack had barely enough energy to climb down the ladder and collapse in an exhausted pile on Jack’s bed, let alone do anything else. Ianto didn’t even care that he had no spare clothes at the Hub; he was just too tired to bother. He was barely even aware of getting undressed and collapsing on the bed next to Jack. Jack covered them with his blankets, wrapped an arm around Ianto and then fell asleep himself.
The whole week carried on in a similar fashion with alert after alert coming through, keeping the entire team near the edge of exhaustion. Towards the end of the week, Ianto had started accompanying them on missions, to try and take some of the pressure off of the other three. He didn’t get in thick of the action, given that he was still mostly untrained for field work, but he could at least help with crowd control and loading up the SUV with any captured Weevils or alien artefacts they had found.
It had been working out relatively well, having Ianto there, until one mission when their luck ran out. Ianto and Jack were with the SUV in an alleyway loading an unconscious Weevil in the back while Owen and Tosh were out of sight, trying to track down a second, unknown alien. The alien they were chasing doubled back on them unexpectedly. The creature stopped for a moment to observe the two of them before suddenly charging at Tosh, seeing that she was the smaller of the two.
The force of the collision threw Tosh against the brick wall of the nearest building, causing her to scream out in pain. The creature went for Owen next and it was about to knock him flying when a large, double-bang sounded. Owen and Tosh looked up to see the creature collapse to the ground. Behind it, Ianto and Jack could be seen lowering their guns.
Owen rushed over to Tosh to assess any injuries, scans revealing she had fractured her arm along with suffering a number of scratches and bruises. Jack ran back to the SUV to drive it closer to where they were and handed out the medical kit to Owen. Owen wrapped her arm in a temporary cast and loaded her up with painkillers before helping her up.
After settling Tosh into the SUV, the others bundled the creature in the back with the unconscious Weevil and returned to the Hub. Ianto offered for them to drop Tosh off at her flat first, but she told him she would prefer to come back with them instead.
When they all got back to the Hub, and had unloaded the Weevil and the dead creature, Owen insisted that Tosh rest for a while before starting to work again. Tosh tried to argue with him, but as Ianto and Jack came over and backed him up, she reluctantly agreed to rest on the sofa. She made Ianto promise to wake her up in a couple of hours so she could continue on with her work.
Luckily they had no more alerts that day, so they all spent time catching up on overdue reports and other paperwork or, in Owen’s case, autopsying the unknown alien. The Hub was quiet and subdued, given the exhaustion levels of them all. Even Jack, with his regenerative capabilities was feeling the strain.
“Not a good week to be short staffed,” Owen yelled from the Autopsy Room. Ianto, Jack and Tosh all silently agreed with him.
In the afternoon, Ianto received a phone call from Gwen. She had tracked down what had happened to the Dogon sixth eye. Apparently, Eugene had tried to sell it online to fund an overseas trip for one of his friends at work. Things had not gone according to plan, and he had somehow ended up swallowing the artefact. Gwen was disappointed because if she had actually gone through with autopsying him when his body was at the Hub, she would have found it earlier.
She told Ianto she was waiting at the mortuary where Eugene had been cremated so that one of the morticians could give the Eye to her after he had removed it from Eugene’s body. Luckily for Gwen, they had accepted her Torchwood identification card as authority to retrieve it, without involving the grieving family.
Ianto went with Jack and Owen out to the Jones’ household to collect her, figuring it was about time she returned to the Hub. Tosh decided to stay at the Hub, as she was still needing to keep her arm as still as possible.
The SUV pulled up just as Gwen was walking up to the Jones’ household.
“Where’s Tosh?” she asked in surprise when she saw only the three men had come.
“She had to stay at the Hub. She has a fractured arm and a few other bruises and scratches,” Ianto replied.
“What happened?” she asked.
“What happened was that we were short staffed, Gwen,” Owen snarled back. “It’s been a bloody busy week. I hope this damned mission of yours was worth it! If you were at work with us then maybe she wouldn’t have been injured.”
Gwen looked away; suddenly unable to face the men.
“Did you get it?” Jack stepped in.
“Yeah, I got it,” Gwen replied, glad of the distraction. She showed Jack the paper bag the mortician had given her and Jack took the eye out and looked at it admiringly.
Ianto looked at them both. “Come on. We’ve got to go.”
“Yeah, Tosh’s waiting for us,” Jack agreed.
With one last look back at the Jones’ household, Gwen reluctantly followed the others to the SUV. She didn’t know why but she suddenly felt the need to cross the road and speak to the family one last time before she left. Ianto impatiently beeping the horn at her caused her to pause for a second. As she went to move again, a car came speeding down the road, narrowly missing her. She gasped loudly – if she hadn’t paused, the car would have hit her.
Jack passed the Eye over to Ianto and got back out of the SUV to see if Gwen was OK. She was a bit shaken, but otherwise she was fine. Jack walked her to the door of the SUV and held the door open as she climbed in the back seat next to Owen. When Jack got back in the front with Ianto, he was concerned to see that Ianto had gone very pale. He put a hand on Ianto’s shoulder. Ianto looked at him.
“He was here. I saw him.” Ianto held the Eye, clutched tightly in his hand, up to Jack. “As soon as I touched this, I saw him.”
“Who?” Jack asked bewilderedly.
“Eugene,” Ianto whispered quietly so that Gwen wouldn’t hear. “He was there, looking at Gwen. And then after that car missed her and you got out to see how she was, a bright light surrounded him and he started rising up into the air. He just kept rising until he disappeared. And it felt like the other day, you know, when I thought I had heard someone extra in the Hub.”
“Maybe it was him at the Hub then?” Jack suggested.
Ianto glanced quickly to the back of the SUV. “Do you think he followed her?”
Jack shrugged. “He swallowed the eye, who knows what effect that would have had on him.”
Ianto closed his eyes and took a deep breath. They were questions they would never be able to answer.
Jack patted his knee. “Come on, let’s get going.”
Ianto nodded and started up the SUV.
In the back seat, Gwen turned to Owen and put her hand on his thigh. “I’m sorry I didn’t come over on the weekend like we had agreed, I just needed to…” She stopped in shock as Owen brushed her hand off angrily.
“You don’t get it, do you?” Owen growled back at her. “It’s not all about you, it’s not all about what you need. Tosh could have been seriously hurt today because you were off god knows where fulfilling your goddamn needs. Did you ever stop to think of that?”
Gwen sat there, open-mouthed in shock; Owen had never spoken to her like that before. She couldn’t say too much in the SUV though, she didn’t want Jack or Ianto to think she was having any problems. She turned away from Owen and faced out the window, not wanting him to see the tears that had suddenly welled up in her eyes.
When they got back to the Hub, she flew over to Tosh and engulfed her in a hug. “I’m so sorry Tosh,” she gushed. “I never meant for this to happen!”
Tosh nodded, trying not to let Gwen see the pain she was in from her arm being bumped by the force of Gwen’s hug. She smiled at Owen over Gwen’s shoulder as he stood in the background shaking his head in exasperation and then shook her head slightly at him when it looked like he was going to say something to Gwen.
Ianto resolved the issue for them anyway by announcing that they would all have an early day. Gwen would be on call over the weekend, and the rest of them would have a well-earned break.
“But Rhys is expecting me home…” Gwen began. She broke off when Ianto tossed a PDA at her.
“You can monitor the alerts from home,” he stated.
Gwen looked at them all looking at her, and she suddenly realised that arguing further would not achieve anything and she nodded in agreement.
Ianto seemed to let out a deep breath. “Come on then everyone, let’s go to the pub. First round’s on me.”
Owen smiled for the first time that day and they all filed out of the Hub, more than ready for a drink. Or two.